AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
This definitely has a wide range of focal distances to choose from, and more than plenty for what I need. If you're looking for a lens to have mounted most of the times for a wide-range of photographic opportunities, I recommend this; especially now that this is offered as a kit lens. I got this as a kit lens with my D7100, and I could not be more satisfied.
Something to take note of is that there is *very* minor distortion around the edges, and it's really only noticeable if you look for it and zoom in all the way. Easily fixed with software, not a problem for most shots.
December 18, 2013
Noticeably sharper than my 18-105 VR
The plastic mount on my 18-105 VR broke when a friend stuffed his luggage by my camera bag. The 18-140 has a metal mount that I can trust, so it stays on the camera in my bag, ready for impromptu shots.
The lens is very sharp; noticeably sharper than my 18-105 VR, which most folks think is sharp. It's not as sharp as my 35mm f1.8 lens, nor is it ever going to be as sharp as a pro lens--it wasn't designed for that. DXO Mark rates the 18-140 as being sharper than the 16-85 and 18-105, at least for my D7000. When you look at the DXO scores, make sure that you select the correct camera, because the 18-105 is sharper than the 18-140 on some cameras.
The better range is why I picked this lens over the Sigma 17-70 OS C. The "C" is, by many accounts, sharper than the 18-140, but, with the way I shoot (family events, walkabout), I need the range. The "C" also is faster (f2.8), and I also shoot a lot of indoor photos, but the photos I take don't need a narrow depth of field. Therefore, f3.5 is fast enough, especially with the high-ISO capabilities of the D7000. I also use bounce flash often, but not always.
The Sigma 17-70 C and the Nikkor 16-85 are supposed to distort less than the 18-140, but distortion can be managed either in-camera (jpgs) or via software (esp. Capture NX2).
Think of this lens as being the VR version of the 18-135.
Cons: The zoom ring is stiff; I don't know if this will smooth out in time. Other than that, the distortion is a minor con, because it fixable--although that means taking time to fix the distortion when you wouldn't need to do so with another lens. Distortion is one of the prices you pay to have the tremendous range and versatility that this lens offers.
December 15, 2013
Great all-around DX lens
I wanted a lens that I could keep on the camera most of the time. This one fits the bill. The 18-55 kit lens is sometimes too short. The 55-200 kit lens is sometimes too long. This lens spans almost the entire range, while still only about the size of the 55-200mm lens. The focus is very sharp.
A good length for portraits - wide enough for group shots, and long enough to get shots without getting in too close.
I was thinking this would be the perfect kit lens, and I see that Nikon has started offering it as a primary option in kits
I have 7 other lenses that work on my DX cameras, but I think this one will be mounted most of the time.
September 21, 2013
Excellent lens for price!
Got this lens as a kit lens for the D7100. Still has some awesome bokeh even though it is a f/3.5. Awesome lens for the price!
December 14, 2013
Great range, annoying issues
I purchased this lens by mail order based on specifications and Nikon reputation without trying it. I had hoped to replace my 18-55mm lens as an everyday walk around lens. In general it works very well but I have experienced two issues that always make me think twice before using it. The first issue I encountered was very noticeable distortion in some images. At 27mm I took a picture of the ocean with about 1/3 water and 2/3 sky and the water line was disturbingly concave. I've also encountered significant vignetting when shooting in the range of 18-25mm (this is without aschroud but I do have a haze filter mounted). I need to test without a filter to make sure the vignetting is from the lens. My final bone of contention with Nikon is that this lens does not come with a shroud, the shroud must be purchased separately. To make it worse, the major retailer I purchased from did not have them in stock and it took several weeks to arrive. If this was a bare bones lens I would understand but this is a few steps up the ladder price-wise.
March 6, 2014